Located in northern Cebu, Bantayan Island is a pristine island that boasts breathtaking beaches, including Paradise Beach and Kota Beach. Visitors can also enjoy an island-hopping tour to nearby small islands like Virgin Island and Hilantagaan Island. Other activities you can enjoy on the island include swimming, kayaking, and cliff diving. There are also a couple of caves inland that travelers may explore.
Bantayan Island gets its name from the phrase “Bantayan sa Hari” which means “Watchtowers of the King.” During the Spanish colonial era, there were 18 watchtowers on the island where people stationed would be on the lookout for Moro raiders.
Currently, Bantayan Island is also home to a fishing community that supplies fish, including Cebu’s famous danggit or dried fish, all over the Philippines. Visitors to the island can also sample fresh seafood during their stay.
The best time to visit Bantayan Island is during its dry season, which is usually from February to May. Avoid going during the wet season when typhoons are more likely to occur.
If you want to experience a local festival in Bantayan Island, visit toward the end of June, when the Palawod Festival is held to honor the island’s patron saints, Saint Peter and Saint Paul.